HP cloud services tackle software development, app performance

New Agile Manager and Performance Anywhere services take aim at agile dev teams and production apps

In the beginning, HP's cloud services-- and those from most other providers -- were aimed at the deployment team. Now HP is connecting the dots between operations and development by rolling out Agile Manager and Performance Anywhere, two cloud offerings aimed at organizing the development team and making it easier to identify and address application performance issues. It's software as a service for those who write the software.

Agile Manager is meant to act as an organizing portal for an agile team, although it might be used just as well by a team structured according to any philosophy that's working from plenty of specs. It will track tasks, issues, and bottlenecks while calculating key performance indicators. Developers log in, get their assignments, and check in code that their managers will hope pushes the performance indicators in the right direction.

Agile Manager is designed to be independent of the IDE. Developers can choose any of the major IDEs -- including Eclipse, IntelliJ, and Visual Studio -- as long as they check the code into the cloud service for building and testing. In addition to tracking project progress, Agile Manager kicks out source code and build management analytics that HP says can provide insight into application quality.

When the code is written, the Performance Anywhere service will track how quickly it's running. Performance Anywhere offers adaptive tools that track the average performance and then flag events that bog down the machine. HP notes that Performance Anywhere also provides predictive analytics capabilities, which are based on performance history. If your Java or .Net code drifts outside of historic norms, alarm bells will ring.

Tools for tracking projects and bug reports have been around for ages, but HP is integrating them with build management and performance monitoring in an attempt to create a single platform for carrying code from dream to deployment. It's similar to what CloudBees is doing with Java tools and its platform-as-a-service cloud.

Agile Manager and Performance Anywhere join a number of other products in HP's management portfolio for enterprise development teams. Agile Manager integrates with HP Application Lifecycle Management for continuous testing and with HP Quality Control Center for quality management. Quality Control Center is a large portal for the QA staff and managers who are writing the specs for a project and then tracking progress with tests. The original code would largely be used by the QA team, but integration of the tools will create a tighter link between QA and the developers themselves.

The pundits tell us that 2013 is the year in which enterprise developers and application teams will finally get serious about the cloud. HP clearly hopes that these new cloud services will draw more developers into its orbit and funnel projects into HP's growing cloud service. The goal is to create a well-integrated solution that turns ideas into paying customers for cloud deployments.

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